Organized Panel Session
This panel will introduce four major databases for the study of East Asian social and economic history, especially education, work, educational and political elites, social mobility and inequality. These include the China Government Employee Database-Qing (CGED-Q), a database of Korean historical figures constructed from data extracted from the Annals of the Joseon Dynasty, and household register databases constructed for Tokugawa Japan from the 17th to 19th centuries and Taiwan under Japanese occupation between 1905 and 1945. The Tokugawa Japanese and colonial-era Taiwanese databases are examples from the first generation of databases constructed from genealogies and population registers in China, Japan, and Korea. These were originally used in major comparative studies of family and population as the Eurasia Project in Population and Family History and the Life at the Extremes Project, and with recent expansion and elaboration are now suitable for the study of social mobility and inequality over multiple generations. The Joseon Korean and Qing Chinese databases are examples of the second generation of databases constructed from diverse historical sources to study education, employment, social mobility and inequality. Together, the four presentations will present a comprehensive overview of the latest developments and future potential of all four databases and serve as a basis for a discussion of prospects for comparative studies of historical social mobility and inequality within and beyond East Asia.